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30/06/02 It's Deja Vu as Stewards Uphold Another Protest
For the second consecutive Caulfield meeting stewards have change the result of the final race after a protest was lodged by a beaten jockey.

At the last Sunday meeting stewards upheld an objection by Fabian Villella after he was beaten on Oarsome Ruler. His objection was upheld after deliberation by officials.

A month to the day a similar event took place when an objection by the in form Craig Newitt was upheld after the running of the Beer Street Super Vobis Stayers Handicap (2030m).

Newitt lodged the protest after receiving interference aboard the Dean Lawson trained entire Stolen Crown over the concluding stages of the distance event.

After what seemed a short hearing the stewards panel, led by Robert Cram, upheld Newitt's objection and relegated the winner over the line Hong Se Lad back to second place.

Newitt said in the hearing that he believed Mark Zahra (the rider of Hong Se Lad) had "allowed his mount to shift out abruptly" and caused his mount significant interference.

"With the interference I have had to stop riding my horse and also rebalance him," Newitt added. "He was off balance for two or even three strides and that was enough to cost me the race."

Dean Lawson also pointed out to stewards in his submission that his horse had been struck over the head with Mark Zahra's whip. "This has also impeded my horse quite a lot."

Stewards agreed with Newitt and Lawson and ruled that had the interference not taken place near the 100 metre mark the results would have been different, therefore the placings were reversed.

In a strange twist the horse which won the final race on protest at the last Caulfield meeting on June 6, Oarsome Ruler, won the seventh race this afternoon to the cheers of his fan club.

Mark Zahra escaped a suspension by stewards. He was severely reprimanded for his handling of his mount in the last race.

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